Loretta Lobes Benec '88

Inspiring Advocates for Education and Community

Loretta Lobes Benec
“I truly believe that WT allowed me to become the best student, the best athlete, and the best
person that I could be.”

“I came to WT in the sixth grade,” recalls Loretta Lobes Benec ’88, “and it was a whole new world that opened up to me. My teachers nurtured me, brought out the best in me, challenged me academically, and maximized my potential. I truly believe that WT allowed me to become the best student, the best athlete, and the best person that I could be. And I feel very strongly that it’s important to acknowledge the role that WT played in my life by recognizing it with a gift.”

Benec—WT alum, wife, mother, and corporate counsel for the H.J. Heinz Company—is the youngest member of the Miss Mitchell Society, a group of donors who have made a bequest or other kind of planned gift to WT.

“When I put WT in my will initially, I was in my mid-20s, and didn’t have anyone to leave anything to,” explains Benec. “My parents were doing some financial planning, and they suggested I do the same. Now I have children…and I recently updated my will. I chose to keep WT as a beneficiary because as the years have gone by, I have come to appreciate more and more how important my WT years were.”

Planned gifts can take the form of bequests, bequest intentions, charitable trusts, life insurance policies, or charitable gift annuities, so there are options that fit practically every age and life stage, making it possible—and comfortable—for anyone to support WT. Benec, whose financial obligations and concerns are familiar to just about every young family, says, “It’s a way to give thanks and to provide future support in a way that I’m not financially able to do right now.”

Benec’s gratitude to WT runs deep. “Amy Nixon, who was then Middle School Director, took a chance on me. I had been struggling at my old school, and she made an exception for me to enter WT. It was better in every way. It was more challenging academically; the intellectual atmosphere was very stimulating. Latin, English, reading, you name it—we were all challenged and intellectually engaged. My father, a physician, was astounded at what we learned in seventh grade biology; Mrs. Wasserloos was incredible! And we were encouraged to become leaders in whatever interested us.

“After graduation, I went to Dartmouth for my undergraduate degree, and I had no transitional stress,” Benec continues. “I was able to dive right in and take advantage of the tremendous resources that college offered.

“More and more, I appreciate what WT has given me,” reflects Benec. “The school invested in my potential, and it seems right to acknowledge the key role it has played in my life. My gift of support isn’t for personal gain or recognition. This is heartfelt appreciation and a thank you.”